Hike sentence

Swindon sex offender jailed after third breach of suspended sentence

A sex offender has finally run out of luck after being jailed for failing to show up for a probation appointment just eight days after being given a ‘last chance’.

Callum MacHardie has been warned by Judge Jason Taylor QC that another breach of his suspended sentence, handed down in 2021 after he was found guilty of possessing indecent images of children for the second time, would mean jail.

That warning came in March after several missed appointments, but just eight days later he failed to show up for another probation appointment.

This was followed, prosecutor Rebekah Batt said, by two missed i-Horizon appointments in April. She also pointed out that none of the 150 hours of unpaid work has been done so far and only one of the 15 days of rehabilitation activity has been done.

Ms Batt added that he had contact with probation on May 4 but had engaged in ‘abusive behaviour’ with his offender manager.

Probation was now recommending that the suspended sentence be activated, she said.

Defending, John Simmons acknowledged the court may find the order was “falling apart”, but said his mental health issues, including the fact that he had been diagnosed with a emotionally unstable personality means he has difficulty complying with the order. .

He cited a psychiatric report that his “adjustability in a prison environment would be limited” and that he should be managed in the community.

“I respectfully suggest that if each of these requirements were an order to walk 100 meters and he was in a wheelchair, he would be unable to do so and we would see that,” Mr Simmons said. “He’s also sick in a different way, he’s unable to do that.

“We shouldn’t be so surprised that he didn’t commit like everyone wants.”

But, Mr Simmons said, his client, from Arley Close to Haydon, had sought help from a psychologist and contacted his GP on numerous occasions.

He asked the judge to adjourn sentencing for four weeks to allow the new guards time to work with him.

But Judge Taylor, anxious to decide between giving him another chance and whether MacHardie had reached the end of the road, said his risk had to be managed.

“I can’t ignore that, they say, when he doesn’t show up for his appointments, we’re unable to manage his risk, he just doesn’t engage with us,” Judge concluded.

“Mr. Simmons invites me to put it back four weeks. It could make the difference. But I have to manage the risk during these four weeks.

“I am aware that I was lucky on the 21st [March]eight days later, it was a different ball game.

Addressing the 32-year-old, Judge Taylor said: “While I take absolutely no pleasure in doing this, you’ve had luck after luck. It ends today.

MacHardie must now serve the 18-month prison sentence.

A previous hearing had been told that the defendant had been downloading the illegal material since he was 12 years old.

In 2016, his lawyer said his childhood was marred by bullying and isolation.

He received a community order, and after violating it by re-uploading indecent images of children and using a computer network capable of hiding his web activity from authorities, he was sentenced to a suspended sentence.